Is Your Home Toxic? NYC Lab Works to Expose Unsafe Building Materials

(DNAINFO) Amy Zimmer — Are there toxic flame retardants in your couch? Does your vinyl floor have harmful phthalates? What about dangerous chemicals in your carpet?

The materials used to build or furnish our homes and offices can be chock full of toxins — but finding out exactly which ones are safe can be challenging because the industry for these products isn’t highly regulated, experts say.

While some websites analyze the chemical content of products used in construction, the information is often too scientific for many people to digest, said Alison Mears, former dean of the School of Design Strategies atParsons School of Design and director of a new initiative led by the school called the Healthy Materials Lab.